MANILA, Philippines – Legendary promoter Bob Arum’s plan of staging a unification clash between Manny Pacquiao, his former cash cow, and Terence Crawford, his current top fighter, in the Middle East remains in the pipeline.
This developed as Top Rank’s big boss entrusted boxing power broker Daniel Kinahan to find the most suitable deal and location for Pacquiao-Crawford, along with the heavyweight unification between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
Though he admitted it’s now harder to stage Pacquiao-Crawford in the Middle East following the sudden plunge of crude oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arum believes there’s still enough stock left in the barrel for the twin mega fights.
Especially with Dublin-born, Dubai-based Kinahan, who was named special advisor by KHK Sports headed by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al Khalifa, president of Bahrain Olympic Committee, on board.
“Dan has been handling all of that, you know, major fights that we would like to do. Like for example a Pacquiao-Crawford fight, which Dan has been working on,” Arum told IFL TV recently.
But if the Middle East negotiations fizzle out, Arum is also considering Macau as a venue, having successfully staged Pacquiao’s fights against Brandon Rios (2013) and Chris Algieri (2014).
Should Pacquiao-Crawford and other big fights be held behind closed doors and outside of the United States, Arum intends to impose a site fee on the organizers to make up for lost gate revenue.
Both Pacquiao, the World Boxing Association welterweight champion, and Crawford, the World Boxing Organization titlist, had expressed interest to fight each other, with Arum claiming Pacquiao’s camp had reached out to him regarding the potential blockbuster.
Arum initially rejected Pacquiao-Crawford, saying he doesn’t want to see the eight-division world champion get hurt, but made a turnaround due to the lack of marquee welterweight fighters under the Top Rank banner.
Pacquiao is with Premier Boxing Champions and so is Errol Spence, the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation common champion. – Rappler.com
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